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FA Cup: 3 key players to watch in Manchester United, Chelsea encounter

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..by Obiweluozo Martins

Manchester United take on Chelsea in the second FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday as both sides aim to make it to the finals.

Both teams are locked up in an interesting top four race alongside Brendan Rodgers Leicester City but they will need maximum focus to navigate through this FA Cup tie successfully.

Both managers could attempt to rest some of their players especially for Manchester United who just defeated Crystal Palace 0-2 at the Selhurst Park on Thursday Night.

They would be in confident mood after beating Chelsea three times this season. But Solskjaer would be cautious ahead of this fixture knowing that Chelsea is not a team to be underrated by all standard especially with a place in the FA Cup final at stake at Wembley.

With the match drawing closer by the minutes, we take a look at the three (3) key battles that could produce the defining moment ahead of this match.

Harry Maguire vs. Tammy Abraham

The English pair will face each other in the entire 90 minutes contest as the Red Devils will be expected to test Chelsea’s level of competition with an FA Cup cracker.

Harry Maguire would try to stop Abraham from getting the required goal for the Blues while he (Harry) will be projecting himself as the top marksman in the defence for Manchester United.

Tammy Abraham has got a lot of work to do to outwit the former Leicester defender owing to his form and experience even as United Captain.

However, Maguire’s tactical awareness inside the box will be under a stern test as he faces the talent of Abraham who is poised to prove a point to reclaim his place in the Chelsea first team.

Nemanja Matic vs. Ross Barkley

The battle for supremacy beckons here in the midfield as Nemanja Matic would likely do battle with English star, Ross Barkley as the case may be.

It promises to be an interesting 90 minutes contest as their quality should shape the outcome of the match.

With Bruno Fernandes and Chelsea star Willian (Borges) likely to be rested in this game, both players will be saddled with the task to bring the required spark in the 90 minutes affair for sure.

Matic’s long term experience will be highly contested by Ross Barkley’s talent in midfield as the former Everton man is at the top of his game having scored a couple of goals to his credit as we’ve seen in recent weeks.

Paul Pogba vs. Jorginho

Pogba would be expected to lead the charge for the Red Devils in midfield. And he will be up against Chelsea’s Jorginho which could be a difficult task for him to deal with in the central area.

The Chelsea man has got the tactical discipline his boss Frank Lampard would be counting ongoing into this fixture.

He could provide a massive test for Paul Pogba whose flair and dynamism would be on show in the midfield.

It will be a great contest between these two players as they lock horns with each other on the pitch.

It remains to be seen who does a better job on the pitch among the two players as both sides clash at the Wembley Stadium in FA Cup semi-final berth.



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